Every year brings a new chance to learn more about our minds and our bodies.
We often get a bit reflective and anticipatory as one year fades into the next. Here are a few things 2014 taught me, or simply messages I wanted to share in 2015.
- Comfort zones are, at best, bastions of mediocre fitness gains. We can't continue doing what's easy and think that we'll be prepared when something difficult arises.
- Want to be the star of a viral video? Take a Shake Weight to the gym and do it in the squat rack.
- Crossfit, in general, has a ton of amazing benefits.
- Most people fail exercise programs because there is always an excuse as to why they haven't started. Then many who do start fail because they don't have a plan for sticking with what they've started. Sticking with fitness and health plans are about a lifestyle change. There has to be something significant that has created the change.
- Aesthetic and weight loss goals aren't that significant when it comes to sticking with a plan.
- Not everyone can be saved. A guy I frequently run into smokes, chews tobacco, drinks often and considers the tomato sauce on his pizza to be great nutrition. He also says, proudly, that he drinks three or four 20-ounce sodas each day. He's in his mid 20s, not overweight but not in good shape either. I've been "working on him" for about six months, offering periodic fitness tips and healthier food option. Then one day, while standing in front of two huge slices of pizza and a Mountain Dew, I told him, "Dude, you killing yourself is killing me." He laughed and said, "I'm not killing myself. I'm living right." Simply put, some people do not want to be helped no matter how much energy you put into helping them. They have to want it for themselves.
- People who compete in athletic-based activities tend to be happier. Maybe they're simply happier when I see them, but it seems to happen to a lot of people.
- Crossfit, in general, injures way too many people.
- I get a bit weak in the knees upon seeing a woman doing pull-ups.
- Notes. Notes. Notes. When we write down something immediately after we've done it, our ability to retain that information is substantial. That's especially true when it comes to understanding fundamental and athletic movements. I persuade all of my clients to describe the exercises in their own words. To me, it's a Stiff-Leg Bound/Alternate Leg/Fast Leg. To a 10-year-old, it's a Kangaroo Kick. And to t he 33-year-old, it's a Straight-leg Knee-high Kick. As long as they're doing it right, I'm cool with it.
- We know somebody who cannot skip properly.
- Work smart, not hard.
- Let's set our own goals and stop trying to better somebody else's. While we're at it, let's stop trippin' over everybody else's thoughts, too. This is our fitness journey, not theirs. They can't lift a single weight for us. They can't do a single sprint for us. They can't eat for us. They can't sleep for us. Stop giving them power over us.
- Lift heavy stuff. Run as fast as possible. Eat well. Repeat daily.
Bryant is an author and lecturer who holds several national training certifications. Email him at email@example.com.